Substance and Soul

How To Study

Samantha WetterholmComment

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Lately I have been getting a lot of questions about how to study, studying pointers, and what are my study methods. Although my methods aren’t the only ones out there, they have gotten me pretty far in my education. 

So I present to you… 

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1 | Go to class. This may seem like an obvious one, but going to class is essential to your study preparation. With the increased use of technology in the classroom, lectures are often recored for web access or podcasts at another time. This may tempt you to skip class but the classroom environment will aid in your future studying and show professionalism and dedication on your part. Remember, just because attendance isn’t mandatory, doesn’t mean that it’s optional. 

2 | Figure out your main note-taking method. Whether you take notes in a spiral-bound notebook, on your tablet, or on your laptop, figure out what works for you and stick to it. It’s all about consistency. You want your notes for each class in one place. Keep one notebook per class or organize your folders in your computer by subject. You don’t want to have to go searching for information later on. 

3 | Highlight and transcribe. Once you have taken your notes in class, spend some time going over them highlighting/underlining/circling key words. While in college, I used 5 different highlighters to code my notebooks {pretty!}. Ultimately, your goal is to go through your notes picking out key concepts and transcribing these topics into a condensed version of your notes. I use either an outline format or flash cards {depending on the subject}.

4 | Pace yourself. Spend some time each day going over your lecture notes and highlighting the key words and topics while the information is fresh. Make your study guide/flash cards as you go so that your material is all ready to review come test time. If you pay attention in class, highlight your notes, transcribe your key topics into a condensed study guide, and review these notes, you will have seen this information at least 4 times! You will not want to wait until the last minute {no cramming}.

5 | Utilize other resources. Find study groups, ask older students for advice or their old study guides, find out if your teacher has published old exams, and always, ask for help if you need it. 

6 | Take care of yourself. I am against pulling all-nighters. You may be able to retain bits and pieces of information by doing this, but sleep allows you to process information and funnel this information into your long-term memory. In addition to sleeping enough, eat right and exercise. Make your serene study space and maintain your peace of mind. Studying is a huge component of education, so do it right. :]

Happy studying everyone!